I don’t like hanging out in shopping malls. I don’t like being in shopping malls. But I don’t mind driving by shopping malls, at high speed, with my windows rolled up.
In the last two weeks I’ve been in shopping malls twice. But not of my own free will.
On my first trip I learned that audio cassettes are now becoming “cool” among some younger millennials. Where did this modest cassette revival come from? I’m guessing it was that mix tape featured in Guardians of the Galaxy. But as I said, that’s just a guess.
So in this trendy clothing shop they sell not only records but old, used audio cassettes for between $3 and $15 a pop. Did anybody tell the kids that audio cassettes have none of the charm of old records? Did anybody tell them that some cassette players have a voracious appetite for magnetic tape and that it is no fun spending twenty minutes gently disentangling your cassette tape from the innards of “Jaws”? Did anybody tell them how cassettes wear out?
And did anybody tell them that if you really want to relive the romance of the age of audio cassettes, you can pick up an expansive collection for 50 cents a pop at the local Goodwill? From Ace of Base to Anne Murray, Milli Vanilli to Michael Bolton, ZZ Top to Zamfir, Goodwill has a stellar selection of yesteryear. (If you’re really lucky, you might even find a copy of Hooked On Classics.)
On my next visit I was pulled into a clothing store. Here’s where I really start to sound like an old fart. Back in my day, when we bought “new” jeans, they actually looked new. (Imagine that!) Consequently, the fades, creases, and tears were earned through life.
Apparently kids these days (“kids these days”, did I really just say that?) don’t have time to earn their fades, creases, and tears. Instead, they purchase “new” jeans that look like they have already weathered a rabid pitbull attack, a motorcycle crash, and an accident with battery acid. At this rate, clothing stores will soon be charging seventy bucks for a few frayed shards of denim.
Once again, Goodwill has you covered. Worn, old, torn, and faded jeans in all styles (acid wash, home made cutoffs…) and brands (Bugle Boy, Pepe, Jordache, Chip and Pepper, B.U.M. Equipment …) are all available at $5-10 per item. You’ll save so much money you’ll even have funds left over to buy that item of travel kitsch you’ve always wanted.
Say, anybody interested in an ash tray from Maui?